REDS, FULHAM UEFA DREAM

LONDON - Liverpool aim to overturn Atletico Madrid's 1-0 first-leg lead and Fulham bid to oust a Hamburg side that just fired their coach as the two sides try to make the first Europa League final an all-English confrontation.

LONDON - Liverpool aim to overturn Atletico Madrid's 1-0 first-leg lead and Fulham bid to oust a Hamburg side that just fired their coach as the two sides try to make the first Europa League final an all-English confrontation.

If that happens, it will be five-time European champions Liverpool against a club that has never won a major domestic trophy.

But Atletico are out to reach their first European final since 1986 and Hamburg are striving to reach a final that will be at their own ground.

Liverpool are confident they can beat Atletico at Anfield tonight and reach the final of what used to be known as the UEFA Cup.

"We are all aware of what is at stake," said Dutch forward Ryan Babel. "After the first leg, nobody in the dressing room had their heads down because we knew we had the second leg to put it right. Luckily enough, we have to play it at Anfield."

With Fernando Torres sidelined for the rest of the season and Dirk Kuyt and David Ngog struggling to shake off injuries, Babel has a good chance of starting against an Atletico side that squandered several chances to build a bigger first-leg advantage.

That was without suspended striker Sergio Aguero. But the Argentina star will team up with regular attacking partner Diego Forlan, who scored the only goal of the first leg in Madrid.

Despite having such talent in the line-up, Atletico have struggled throughout the domestic league campaign though they have reached the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla.

"It's been difficult, what's happened with us this year. But we've come back well, got out of the bottom of the standings and now here we are with a chance for two trophies," Aguero said.

Fulham have had a remarkable route to the semifinal, knocking out UEFA Cup champions Shakhtar Donetsk, overturning Juventus' 4-1 lead to oust the Italian club, and eliminating German champions Wolfsburg.

Guided by former Inter Milan coach Roy Hodgson, the west London team then held Hamburg 0-0 at the Hamburg Arena where the final is to be played on May 12.

Fulham are on the brink of reaching their first European final and face a club that fired Bruno Labbadia on Monday after a 5-1 Bundesliga loss at Hoffenheim the day before.

Hamburg has put assistant coach Ricardo Moniz in charge and his job is to restore confidence for tonight's game at Craven Cottage. - Sapa-AP

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